Tony de Zuniga

deZuniga

TONY DE ZUNIGA was born in the Philippines in 1941.  An avid comics reader as a child, Tony’s favorites included Jack Kirby and Alex Toth, and he loved Alex Raymond’s Rip Kirby and Flash Gordon.  His love for comics inspired him to do comics on his own.  He began his career as a letterer when he was 16 for a weekly magazine where he met Alfredo Alcala and Nestor Redondo, artists who he counts as those who have inspired and encouraged him, and became his friends.

Tony moved to the US in 1962 to study an advanced course in Graphic Design and went back home to the Philippines to work in the advertising industry while at the same time drawing for comics like Hiwaga KomiksCaravana Klasics and Romansa Komiks.

At the end of the 1960s Tony moved back to New York and met with DC Editor Joe Orlando and immediately he was given an assignment inking Ric Estrada on a romance story for Girl’s Love Stories #153. His first story he penciled and inked on his own was most likely a Dr. Thirteen story for Phantom Stranger, published in April, 1971, and work soon followed regularly. He was soon given the chance to co-create a new character with writer John Albano, which eventually became Jonah Hex, one of the more enduring modern day characters in the DC Universe.

Tony then paved the way for other Filipino comics artists to enter the US industry when he convinced DC Editor-in-Chief Carmine Infantino and Joe Orlando to visit the Philippines in 1971.  Artists like Alex Nino, Alfredo Alcala, Nestor Redondo, Fred Carrillo, Vicatan, Gerry Talaoc and so many found a lot of work on DC’s stable of Mystery and War titles as a result.

Tony went on to draw Black Orchid, X-Men, Punisher, etc. Retired, Tony spends his time painting in oil, watercolor, acrylic, charcoal and entering competitions. He also does many portrait commissions and teaches portrait, drawing and a how to draw superheroes class at the Lodi Arts Commission.

In April 2012, Tony suffered a life-threatening stroke. Doctors were able to save him, but numerous complications quickly arose. Both the Philippine and international comics community made an effort to raise funds for his treatment. During the Free Comic Book Day on May 5, 2012, Filipino comic book artists banded together and launched a a sketch drive, t-shirt sale and auction to help raise funds.

On May 11, 2012, he died from the stroke having led to his subsequent brain damage and heart failure. The doctors attempted to resuscitate him but could not. [1]

Published Works

  • Ang Sawa sa Lumang Simboryo, Mabuhay Komiks (1951-1952)
  • Apat na Mukha ni Eva, Kilabot Komiks (1962-1963)
  • Apat na Taga, Hiwaga Komiks (1952-1953)
  • Cumbanchera, Tagalog Klasiks (1952)
  • Dagan sa Dibdib, Superyor Komiks (1968)
  • Dalawang Kasal, Bulaklak (1956)
  • Drakulita, Lagim Komiks (1960-1961)
  • Edwardina, Lagim Komiks (1962)
  • El Cobarde, Espesyal Komiks (1952)
  • Kilabot sa Kurutan, Ligaya Komiks (1965-1966)
  • Lemuria, Tsampiyon Komiks (1957)
  • Maestro Federico, Marte Komiks (1952)
  • Medalyang Pilak, Tagalog Klasiks (1951)
  • Medalyon, Bulaklak (1953)
  • Mga Pating sa Parang, Sampaguita Komiks (1964-1965)
  • Milagroso, Espesyal Komiks (1954)
  • Misis Drakula, Diamante Komiks (1962-1963)
  • Prinsipeng Walang Gulat, Lagim Komiks (1964)
  • Reporter, Tagalog Klasiks (1950)
  • Salaginto at Salagubang, Ligaya Komiks (1966-1967)
  • Saragate, Espesyal Komiks (1954)
  • Tenyente Alegre, Redondo Komix (1964)
  • Three Daigdig, Hiwaga Komiks (1953)